If you are trying to access valuable data from the internet in large amounts, you need to invest in a proxy server. Proxy servers have many benefits to businesses, including unblocking restricted content, data crawling, SEO monitoring, and many more.
This article will take you through everything that you need to know about proxies, including the various use cases and the different types to choose from.
What is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server is a router or system that serves as an intermediary. It provides a gateway between an end-user and the internet. The server goes in between the user and the web pages, and it uses its IP address to send requests to the intended website.
Hence, when you send a request to a web page, the proxy will connect with your browser and route traffic. Thus, the result will appear to emanate from its IP address rather than from your computer.
A proxy server can be helpful for both personal and business use. Some of the benefits of using a proxy server include:
- Offers an extra layer of security and anonymity
- Speeds up overall network performance
- Prevents data breaches
- Filters encrypted data
- Helps to balance traffic to reduce website crashes
- By-passes geo-restrictions
- Improve brand protection
Use Cases for Proxies
Now that you have an idea of what proxies are, you probably wonder where they are used. Well, there are various uses for proxies, as indicated below.
1. Data Harvesting
A significant use of proxies is data crawling, where they are used to retrieve relevant data from plenty of web pages in no time. It helps businesses gather valuable insight within minutes, something that would take days or even weeks when done manually.
2. SEO Monitoring
Another critical use of proxies is in monitoring the SEO of your website to enhance its visibility and draw more traffic. Consequently, this can improve your site’s ranking on search engines.
3. Market Research
For eCommerce businesses to perform well, there is a need to do intensive market research and collect alternative data. This is where proxies prove useful. Most businesses use proxies to perform online data harvesting in a quick and automated way.
4. Ad Verification
With a proxy, you can test your business ad in various locations without getting blocked. Proxies also have tools that can analyze your past ads, giving you insight into what you need to tweak for your future ads. What’s more, it can let you detect fraudulent marketing activities like fake traffic that can harm your brand’s reputation.
The Main Proxy Types
There are different types of proxies in the market to choose from, depending on your specific needs and requirements.
- Residential Proxies
These are proxies linked to real residential addresses, making them difficult to identify and block. Residential proxies come from Internet Service Providers (ISP); hence, they appear more authentic and legitimate.
Residential proxies work best to bypass geo-restrictions since they cover most locations. It is also valuable when you want to harvest plenty of data from the internet since it won’t leave a footprint. However, it is good to note that residential proxies can be more costly than most proxy types.
- Datacenter Proxies
As the name suggests, this is a proxy located in a physical data center where requests are redirected. Unlike residential proxies, datacenter proxies are not provided by an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Instead, they are provided by a secondary corporation.
When you use a datacenter proxy, the web server will detect the proxy’s credentials and not your accurate information. Hence, you will remain anonymous. Besides, data centers are known for their high speed because of internet connection quality in most data centers.
Although datacenter proxies are cheap, stable, and quick, they are more likely to get blocked when used for web scraping. They are not affiliated with ISP providers and can quickly be flagged by some web pages.
IPV6 is another proxy type that serves as an intermediary between you and the webserver. Although not known like its predecessor, IPV4, this proxy translates protocols and diverts traffic so that organizations and the ISP can process the correct traffic.
Unlike the IPV4 proxy, the IPV6 proxy has more IP addresses to help solve the issue of diminishing IP addresses. The IPV6 proxy uses the IPV6 address to hide your real IP address so that you can browse the internet anonymously.
- Dedicated Proxy
A dedicated proxy is a proxy type that is only used by a single user. It is not shared, and this minimizes the chances of the IP address being blocked because of malicious activity or overuse.
- Shared Proxy
On the other hand, a shared proxy is used by several clients at a time. This means that many connection requests are sent, which can lower the speed. Nonetheless, shared proxies are cost-effective and great for businesses that are just starting and don’t have a massive budget because the different clients can split costs.
This article shows that proxy servers play a considerable role in online business. Whether you want to crawl data, monitor your competition, verify ads, or protect your brand, the correct proxy server will enhance your business growth and success. It is best to ensure that you choose a proxy server that provides you with anonymity and meets your business needs.